From HSRC Press

Miriam Tlali: Writing freedom

Author: Pumla Dineo Gqola 

Cover design: Riaan Wilmans

Publication date: January 2021

ISBN (soft cover):978-0-7969-2562-6 

Format: A5 (210 mm x 148 mm)

Extent: 216


Miriam Tlali was one of the most prolific writers of her time, working as a novelist, short-story writer, playwright, essayist, and an activist against apartheid and patriarchal confinement. She worked consistently to build the literary and political community, was one of the founders of the magazine Staffrider, and actively promoted the work of younger writers. Tlali held the mantle of many firsts. She was the first black woman to publish a novel in English in South Africa under apartheid, and the first black woman to significantly impact the male terrain of South African short-story writing. Fiercely opposed to censorship, she went to great lengths to undermine the will and impact of apartheid censors, and wrote many essays exposing their violence and hypocrisy. Her plays were performed on two continents but Tlali was routinely banned in South Africa – once after a mere public reading of a story before it was even published. Tlali was recognised as an important South African literary voice, and her first novel was translated into Japanese, Dutch, German and Polish, while it remained banned in the country of her birth.

Miriam Tlali: Writing freedom, a new addition to the Voices of Liberation series, brings together select original writing by Tlali with analyses of the many ways in which she imagined freedom. Like the other books in the Voices of Liberation series, this title surfaces how Tlali’s writing of freedom retains relevance beyond the specific site and conditions of its emergence.

Author contact details: 

Prof Pumla Gqola

Black Womanism in South Africa: Princess Emma Sandile

 Author:Janet Hodgson

Cover design:Nazley Samsodien

Publication date:February 2021

ISBN (soft cover):978-1-928246-39-8

Format:A5 (148 mm x 210 mm)



Black Womanism in South Africa focuses on the life of Emma Sandile, or Princess Emma, as she was known in colonial circles in the 19th century. She was from the Rharhabe tribe and the eldest daughter of Mgolombane Sandile, leader of the Ngqika chiefdom – western amaXhosa.

Based on archival sources, press reports and fieldwork, the book focuses on her early years and adulthood. After the Cattle Killing in the mid-19th century, Governor Sir George Grey and Bishop Robert Gray planned to educate the children of the Xhosa elite as English gentlemen and women loyal to the British Empire. For this purpose, they set up the Zonnebloem College, which was run by the Anglican Church in Cape Town. Sandile and her brother Gonya were among those sent there in 1858 to undergo education. She stayed until 1863, a time described by her school mistress in an unpublished journal. In 1859, Grey granted Sandile and her brother farms in the Eastern Cape to cover their schooling.

As the first black woman landowner in Southern Africa, the earliest black woman writer in English, and the only woman to attend the Cape Colony Land Commission hearings, she was awarded another farm, which still bears her name. Sandile was one of the pioneers of black womanism in our country. Her courage in bridging her African tradition and the imposed Western culture was without precedence. This window into Sandile’s world provides a glimpse of the problems involved in religious and social change. Her courage in fighting for her rights as she weathered the storms of fluctuating fortunes will be an inspiration to those who are following in her footsteps.

Author contact details: 

Janet Hodgson

African Voices: In search of a decolonial turn

Author: Siphamandla Zondi

Cover design: Dudu Coelho

Publication date: March 2021

ISBN (soft cover): 978-0-7983-0531-0

Format :170 mm x 240 mm

Extent: 346


This book discusses the contributions of African thinkers and actors to what Paul Tiyambe Zeleza calls recentering Africa, in discussions about major African phenomena. It provides input into ongoing debates about what it means to decolonise knowledge, the university, the school, the library, the archive, and the museum. The book responds to the need for Africa-centred literature to be used by those who teach, discuss and implement the decolonisation and Africanisation of knowledge, power and being. The book aims to stimulate further conversations about many other African voices engaged in epistemic disobedience.

Author contact details: 

Prof Siphamandla Zondi

Contemporary Campus Life: Transformation, manic managerialism and academentia

Author: Keyan G Tomaselli

Cover design: Carmen Schaefer

Publication date: March 2021

ISBN (soft cover): 978-1-928246-26-8

Format: A5 (148 mm x 210 mm)

Extent: 256


Contemporary Campus Life presents an argument that the COVID-19 pandemic has brought about an ecological correction that affects all of humanity, one that management theory can learn from. Tomaselli presents a cogent critique of managerialism with an incisive satirical humour that delves into the quirks of university academia. This analysis shows how these quirks affect lived relations in the academy’s practice of science, teaching and reasoning. The academy is not a safe space, but given the truth that the COVID-19 pandemic has exposed, Tomaselli shows how it could become so.

Author contact details: 

Prof Keyan Tomaselli

Ethics, Politics, Inequality: New directions

State of the Nation

Authors: Narnia Bohler-Muller, Crain Soudien and Vasu Reddy

Cover design: Riaan Wilmans

Publication date: March 2021

ISBN (soft cover): 978-0-7969-2596-1

Format: 240 mm x 168 mm

Extent: 448


Multi-layered inequalities and a sense of insecurity have long been the hallmark of South African life. However, the uncertainties of COVID-19 have led to greater shared experiences of vulnerability among South Africans. This volume of State of the Nation offers perspectives that may help us navigate our way through the ‘new normal’ in which we find ourselves. Foremost among the unavoidable political and socioeconomic interventions that will be required are interventions based on an ethics of care. 

A democratic post-apartheid state with an ethics of care at its core will emphasise human connectedness and the value of human bodies. This requires the state to insert care as an essential attribute into all the diverse contexts that structure needs, desires, and relations of power. It requires of us, as individuals and as communities, the will and understanding to combat and counter poverty and inequality and thus to improve the state of the nation. Now, more than ever, we need to prioritise an ethics of care.

Author contact details: 

Prof Vasu Reddy

Decolonisation as Democratisation: Global insights into the South African experience

Author: Siseko Kumalo

Cover design: Shane Platt

Publication date:: March 2021

ISBN (soft cover): 978-0-7969-2600-5

Format: A5 (148 mm x 240 mm)

Extent: 240


Decolonisation as Democratisation considers three factors that define the debate in South Africa on the decolonisation of the academy: educational aspiration, competing interests and political contestation. The book explores an academic system that attempts to serve two masters, the first being the historical beneficiaries of the academy (i.e. whiteness) and the second being those who pin their hopes on the system in order to escape abjection (i.e. blackness or indigeneity).

The book highlights how the recent thrust of decoloniality protects the ideal of academic freedom and presents an argument that this ideal should not be used to protect the interests of the historical beneficiaries.

Author contact details: 

Siseko Kumalo

Making Institutions Work in South Africa

Author: Daniel Plaatjies

Cover design: Conor Ralphs

Publication date: March 2021

ISBN (soft cover): 978-1-928246-36-7

Format: 235 mm x 168 mm

Extent: 248


Making Institutions Work in South Africa recognises that institutions are the pillars of a constitutional democracy; they evolve through the actions of persons; and as organisations they form structures of dynamic, shared social patterns of behaviour. The book offers interdisciplinary critical commentary by scholars, analysts and experts regarding strategic thinking, structural and functional impediments and facilitators to institutions.

Migrants, Thinkers, Storytellers: Negotiating meaning and making life in Bloemfontein, South Africa

Authors: Jonatan Kurzwelly and Luis Escobedo

Cover design: Nicolaas Jooste

Publication date: March 2021

Cover illustration: Jolanta Banowska

ISBN (soft cover): 978-0-7969-2598-5

Format: 240 mm x 168 mm

Extent: 256


Migrants, Thinkers, Storytellers develops an argument about how individual migrants, coming from four continents and diverse socioeconomic backgrounds are in many ways affected by a violent categorisation that is often nihilistic, insistently racial, and continuously significant in the organisation of South African society. The book also examines how relative privilege and storytelling function as instruments for migrants to negotiate meanings and shape their lives. It employs narrative life-story research as its guiding methodology and applies various disciplinary analytical perspectives, with an overall focus on social categorisation and its consequences. The featured stories stress how unsettled, mutable and in flux social categories and identities are – just as a messy pencil sketch challenges clear definitions.

Author contact details: 

Jonatan Kurzwelly

Luis Escobedo